No fewer than five national rally champions will be on parade when the IUEA Jinja Rally 2020 gets underway today in Jinja and Mayuge districts. The event is the second round of the National Rally Championship (NRC).
Ronald Ssebuguzi (Evo X), Ponsiano ‘mafu mafu’ Lwakataka (Subaru N12B), Dr Ashraf Ahmed (Subaru N14), Arthur Blick Jr (Evo X), Christakis Fitidis (Evo X) and Yasin Nasser (Subaru GVB), have nine titles between them.
Add Duncan ‘Kikankane’ Mubiru (Evo X), Omar Mayanja (Evo X), and Hassan Alwi (Subaru N14) and the battle for supremacy in Jinja this weekend is expected to go down the wire as was in Mbarara.
Nasser of Moil Rally Team, the reigning national champion missed the opening round in Mbarara last month but said they are not under pressure at all.
“We shall take one event at a time as it comes. Just like last year our usual target is always to get the car to the finish,” Nasser who drives a Subaru GVB with Ali Katumba told SCORE.
Last year Nasser’s success was based on scoring in each of the seven rounds while his rivals encountered problems.
Kikankane and his co-driver Musa Nsubuga, the championship leaders, have vowed to build on the good start they had in Mbarara.
Kikankane said: “We changed our strategy this season. Our target is a top five finish above that is a bonus.” He said. Lwakataka and Young Turk Rajiv Ruparelia in a refurbished VW Proto cannot wait to roll off either.
The two who had dominated the Mbarara event on both days surrendered the lead in the last two sections after mechanical problems.
First Rajiv, broke his back shocks while leading Lwakataka with 37 seconds, then in the very last section, Lwakataka broke his suspensions handing the lead to Kikankane.
Blick Jr and George Ssemakula in an Evo X, sponsored by Shell Helix, have put last year’s disappointment of missing out on the title behind them and are looking forward to their first event this season.
“We are out to prove a point this season, after missing out last season,” Blick Jr said. “The car is in sound condition after fixing it.”
Over 40 drivers will tackle nearly 50km this morning in the Kakira sugarcane plantations before a super special stage at Hared Gym in Jinja town.
The event will have a total distance of 306.63km of which 154km is competitive.
Team KG 26.22km
Chloride Exide 18.35km
Super special 2.5km x2
1 Duncan Mubiru (Evo X) 90 pts
2 Fred Busuulwa (Subaru N10) 80
3 Haj. Omar Mayanja (Evo X) 70
4 Dr. Ahmed Ashraf (Subaru N14) 60
5 Jackson Sserwanga (Toyota Run X) 50